I woke up this morning exhausted and dispirited from a most hellish nightmare, a nightmare that seemed to last an eternity -- only to realize that the nightmare continues.
Last night, Americans elected as the 45th president of the United States a man whose campaign "took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of American democracy."
Yesterday, Americans elected a man who has defiled all that is sacred to us: war heroes, prisoners of war, Purple Heart recipients, veterans suffering from PTSD, grief-stricken Gold Star parents. A man who has used veterans as political props, maligned our military, bragged that he knows more about combat than our generals, called them a "group of losers." A man who has promised to order our military to use torture and to "take out" the families of our enemies. A man who calls himself "brave" and compares the sacrifice of losing a son in combat to his "sacrifices" of being successful in business and building "great structures."
As a veteran, I am disgusted.
On Election Day, the voters approved of a sexist misogynist who viciously and cowardly debased the most precious of all -- our mothers, our sisters, our wives, even our daughters -- and who had the temerity to boast about his sexual assaults, infidelities and perversions.
As a father, husband and brother of four beautiful women, I am angry and shocked.
On November 8, Americans accepted a heartless, xenophobic racist who legitimized, "normalized," even emboldened the open expression of bigotry and stirred up hate against refugees, Muslims, people of color, Latinos and other minority immigrants. A bigot who attacked various racial and religious groups, who shamelessly impugned a sitting federal judge for his Mexican heritage and cruelly mocked the disabled.
On voting Day, Americans said yes to a tyrant whose "solution" to our immigration problems is the use of a Nazi-like, jackbooted "deportation force" to round up, imprison, and ruthlessly deport millions of decent, hard-working, law-abiding undocumented immigrants, mercilessly tearing apart families and blatantly and unconstitutionally ending birthright citizenship.
As an immigrant and a Latino, I am deeply offended.
We are trusting a loose cannon who has shrugged off nuclear proliferation, who would not rule out using nuclear weapons in Europe, who in general displayed astounding ignorance about U.S. nuclear weapons policy, deterrence and the nuclear triad.
As a human being, I shudder at the specter of having a psychopath in charge of the most powerful military on the planet with his thin-skinned finger on the nuclear button ready to press it at the slightest provocation.
We are rewarding a charlatan and con artist who would treat our strategic alliances and treaties as a pay-for-protection racket. A man who would discard, default upon and repudiate longstanding international commitments and agreements in the same manner he has so cavalierly and brazenly ignored or defaulted upon his private contractual obligations. An unscrupulous man who scammed, deceived, stiffed and relentlessly litigated business partners, creditors, investors, contractors and workers, including struggling plumbers and painters and vulnerable and defenseless undocumented workers.
On Polling Day, the nation gave the nod to an unpatriotic man who demonized his own president as illegitimate and as a secret terrorist sympathizer, yet praised and admired our foes, even treasonously encouraging our worst enemy to hack our democratic institutions' and his political opponent's data bases. Worse, when the Kremlin boss and former KGB director did exactly that, the Republican presidential nominee wallowed in the muck and had no qualms about using the stolen information in attempts to discredit his political opponents.
On November 8, Americans picked as their leader a vengeful, insecure man who has made it crystal clear that, as president, he would use the full power of "his government" to investigate, prosecute and imprison his presidential opponent and other political rivals, to "open up" libel laws to muzzle a free press and that he would spend most of his time suing his critics, accusers, and political and business enemies. A bully who has already shown his hand by praising and encouraging violence at his rallies, by barring and blacklisting news organizations whose reporting he didn't like, by dog-whistling about Second Amendment remedies and by, in advance, refusing to accept any election results he does not like.
On Election Day 2016, Americans decided to send to the White House a self-adoring narcissist who views the presidency of our great country as just another trophy, as just another stepping stone to more celebrity, fame, power and, yes, even to additional wealth. A man who exploited people's righteous fears and dissatisfaction and tapped into their darkest emotions to help himself reach those ignoble goals.
Sour grapes? Perhaps.
Grapes of wrath? Who knows.
Shocked and disappointed? You bet!